GIS Technologies for disaster management

SUPARCO has developed considerable expertise in application of Remote Sensing and GIS Technologies for disaster management during past few years. the Kashmir Earthquake 2005, Cyclone/Flash floods in Baluchistan in 2007, Hunza/Ataabbad Landslide in 2010, Gayari Avalanche in 2012, Awaran Earthquake 2013, Floods 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, and 2014 are the major disaster events in which SUPARCO provided satellite derived information to Federal, Provincial Departments and Armed Forces. 

SUPARCO plays a very active role in providing space based information for rescue/relief activities, early recovery and rehabilitation efforts during the natural hazards. For this purpose a Space Application Center for Response in Emergency & Disasters (SACRED) has been established and this center also act as Regional Support Office (RSO) of United Nations Platform for Space Based Information for Disaster Management and Emergency Response (UN-SPIDER) in Pakistan.

The functions in purview of the center include:

  • Rapid regional coverage of disaster events
  • Activation of Int'l Charter on Space Major Disasters on behalf of NDMA
  • Rapid/emergency thematic mapping for Rescue/Relief activities
  • Estimation of Damages/Losses to Infrastructure and Crops
  • Post disaster monitoring of Infrastructure during Rehabilitation and Reconstruction phases
  • 3D Flythrough to ascertain level of damages
  • Monitoring of Snow melting and Glaciers depletion in the context of Climate change
  • Monitoring of Landslide devastation over large areas
  • Monitoring of Drought and its impact on water and agriculture

SUPARCO is also acting as Data Analysis Node (DAN) under the auspices of Sentinel Asia Network. The Sentinel Asia Network envisages effective cooperation among the regional countries in utilizing the available satellite remote sensing and disaster related analysis/interpretation expertise to mitigate damages caused by natural disaster in Asia Pacific region.

On behalf of NDMA, SUPARCO has been accredited with Authorized User status by International Charter on Space & Major Disaster. In case of Major Disaster, SUPARCO can activate charter and in that case the imageries from various constellation of Remote Sensing satellite would be available for damage assessment.

Pakistan is also participating in the International Humanitarian Satellite Search and Rescue COSPAS-SARSAT program since 1990 as a ground segment provider. The program provides global distress alert and location data free of charge and on non-discriminatory basis. It utilizes Satellite and ground facilities to detect and locate ships, aircraft and land mobiles in distress, the ground segment consist of Mission Control Center (PAMCC) and Local User Terminals (PALUT) operational on 24/7 basis.

Support to National and International Organizations

SUPARCO work in close coordination with many national and international agencies for disaster monitoring and mitigation; some of them are:   

National Agencies
  • National and Provincial Disaster Management Authorities
  • Ministry of Food Security and National Research
  • Ministry of Climate Change
  • Pakistan Metrological Department (PMD)
  • Flood Forecasting Division, PMD
  • Provincial Irrigation Departments
  • Federal Flood Commission

International Agencies

SUPARCO also works in close collaboration with several international Organizations, Institutes, Scientific Committees, United Nation bodies for exchange of scientific and technical information, provision of data, training consultancy, collaborative studies and joint Organizations of conferences, seminars etc. Some of the international organizations / bodies /Scientific committees / United Nations bodies are listed as under:

  • International Charter "Space and Major Disasters"
  • Sentinel Asia
  • UN-FAO
  • Asia Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO)